With the 2022-23 regular season finale looming, the Los Angeles Clippers know what they need to do in order to put themselves in the best position for a playoff run.
Defeat the Phoenix Suns and avoid the play-in tournament, a scenario that may pit them against a more formidable foe than the Sacramento Kings on paper but gives them extra time to get All-Star forward Paul George back in the lineup. George has been out since Mar. 23 with a sprained right knee but his progression in his rehab has gone well, thus far.
The Clippers and the Golden State Warriors would be the fifth seed and sixth seed, respectively, if they both win their regular season finale, per Kurt Helin of NBC Sports.
However, even if the Clippers lose, they will fall no lower than the seventh seed. The Los Angeles Lakers would then be the fifth seed and facing the Suns in the first round.
With that in mind, the Clippers could also consider a loss against the Suns in the regular season finale as the best pathway forward.
Still, they would have to face a couple of young and hungry teams in the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies to even have a hope of reaching the Western Conference Finals. Though Kawhi Leonard and company could be up to the task, toppling a Suns team that hasn’t played many games together and might only get stronger as the postseason goes on still looks like the better option.
Fortunately for them, Phoenix will be sitting out its stars for the regular season finale, while they do the opposite.
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